Your Ultimate Guide to Boston’s Seasonal Beer Gardens
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Despite a dreary start to spring and some beer garden backlash, we have a sunny outlook on Greater Boston’s outdoor drinking scene in 2019. That’s because more than a dozen beer and wine gardens have already confirmed plans to regularly set up around the city at some point this spring, summer, and fall, beginning in early May. (As with all things outdoors in Boston, these are weather-dependent.) From public parks along the Charles River, to historic gardens of the North Shore, to the urban jungle of the Seaport, here’s where to find outdoor beer gardens around Boston.
We’ll keep this guide updated as craft beverage-makers announce and start their seasons; it was most recently published on Tuesday, August 7.
Greater Boston’s original beer garden returns for its fourth season in Lower Allston in mid-May. Three nights per week, the Somerville-based Aeronaut Brewing Co. crew descends on Zone 3 with local beers, food trucks, and an impressive live music lineup and other cultural programming. Highlights this season are cool local touring acts, like Vermont soul band Kat Wright headlining the official launch party; and a monthly live variety show presented in conjunction with the PRX Podcast Garage. Returning festivities include bike nights, queer community meet-ups, a Hamilton singalong on July 4, and an August beach party. Plus, you can bring your pup and get your portrait on the “Wall of Woof.” Check out the full calendar here, and get grooving to the music with this handy Spotify playlist from the fine folks in charge. The parties begin Wednesday, May 15.
For the second year in a row, a family-friendly beer garden with live music is taking over Whittemore Park every Saturday afternoon. On the lawn in front of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum in Arlington Center, the Somerville beer-makers set up with an ever-changing lineup of brews and cider, local food, community partners, and free music sets from 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. each week.
June 1-mid-September, Saturdays noon-7 p.m., 611 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, Facebook.
The Anchor at Shipyard Park
A Boston-based events and entertainment agency has debuted a two-story, open-air drinks destination to an old structure in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The Anchor, the latest public-facing project from the Anthem Group, quietly opened over Memorial Day weekend, and is now active seven days a week until November. It’s serving a selection of beer, including options from Everett’s Down the Road, Lone Pine (Maine), Long Trail (Vermont), and Del’s Shandy by Narragansett. There are sangria and bubbly options from 90+ Cellars, as well as Crook & Marker hard seltzer; plus coffee, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and other non-alcoholic options. There’s food, too: Expect lobster rolls, veggie hummus wraps, salads, bar snacks, and more from the concessionaire, with more added to the menu as summer rolls on, including a baked good partnership with the East Boston Boys & Girls Club. The setting is pet-friendly and welcomes kids, with grassy lawns and the requisite lawn games, a waterfront mezzanine, swing chairs, and lounge seating. From waterfront wellness activities to nautical paint parties to live music to artisan markets, the Anchor also plans a full season of events and activities. It’s now open weeknight evenings and all day on the weekends, with hours extended to 11 a.m.-11 p.m. beginning July 1.
Mondays-Thursday 4-11 p.m., Fridays-Sundays 11 a.m.-11 p.m., 1 Shipyard Park, Charlestown, 617-286-2404, theanchorboston.com.
Boston Landing Beer Garden
The new development in Brighton that’s home to New Balance, the Bruins and Celtics practice facilities, and a growing lineup of food and drink options is launching an inaugural summertime series of family-friendly events, including a weekly farmers market (Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. from June 11-Sept. 24), monthly movie nights, Friday lunch parties, and of course, an monthly outdoor beer garden. Select Thursday evenings, stop by for a post-work beer from a rotating selection of local breweries; Braintree’s Widowmaker Brewing Co. starts things off on May 23. Plus: Weymouth’s Barrel House Z is kicking off the seasonal events series with a beer tent pop-up during the Boston Landing Block Party on Saturday, May 18.
Thursdays, May 23, June 20, July 25, and August 22, 4-7 p.m., Athletes Park, Guest Street, Brighton, bostonlandingdevelopment.com.
Brewer’s Alley at Boston Harbor Hotel
The Boston Harbor Hotel is launching a new, seasonal beer garden, called Brewer’s Alley, featuring month-long pop-ups from New England breweries. Located on a waterfront deck outside the Rowes Wharf Bar, it kicks off May 23 with Devil’s Purse Brewing Co. of Cape Cod, and continues every day through October, with residencies by Jack’s Abby (June 20-July 17), Night Shift (July 18-August 21), and Lord Hobo (August 22-September 25). For the last month (Sept. 26-October 26), eight breweries will be featured in an Oktoberfest-themed lineup. A ticketed event with each brewery will start things off each month, followed by regular service every day.
May 23-October 26, Monday-Friday 2-10 p.m., Saturdays noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-8 p.m., Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 617-439-7000, bhh.com.
Castle Island Brewing Co. at Constitution Wharf
For the second summer season, Norwood brewery Castle Island is mooring at Charlestown’s Constitution Wharf. Along with Keeper IPA, Candlepin Pale Ale, American Lager, and more CI favorites, the 20-tap draft trailer will rotate through a number of limited-release beers throughout the season. It also has wine options and non-alcoholic drinks for sale, plus snacks like chips and guacamole. It will host low-key live music, plus occasional vendor pop-ups—CI will update its events page with those details. Located along the Harbor Walk, about 15 walking minutes from North Station, the waterfront spot offers beautiful views—the Boston skyline thataway, Old Ironsides over there—and water taxi access. There’s also limited parking available on-site. The Constitution Wharf beer garden debuts on Thursday, May 30, and is open (weather-permitting) every weekend throughout the season.
May 30-fall, Thursdays + Fridays 3-9 p.m., Saturdays noon-9 p.m., Sundays noon-7 p.m., 1 Constitution Wharf, Charlestown, castleislandbeer.com.
Nantucket’s favorite brewery is once again setting up shop in the Boston Seaport—with twice as much space as its inaugural season. Open six days a week from May 14 through mid-October, the dog-friendly beer garden will have room for about 1,000 people, and three separate drink-ordering stations: a craft beer bar featuring classics like Whale’s Tale Pale Ale alongside new, Portsmouth-brewed experimental beers like Crantucket Brut IPA; a draft beer trailer; and a wine bar (plus wine-based cocktails) from sister brand Nantucket Vineyard. Loco Taqueria is joining forces again with tacos and a raw bar, and this year will include additional food options from Luke’s Lobster and Flatbread Brighton. The site has a stage for live music, lawn games, and charity programming planned.
May 14-mid-October, Tuesday-Friday 4-11 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays (and holidays) noon-11 p.m., 65 Northern Ave. (just west of District Hall), Boston, ciscobrewers.com.
City Winery on the Greenway
It’s not all about beer this summer: City Winery is behind the city’s first dedicated open-air wine bar at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, close to South Station, beginning Wednesday, May 1. With a selection of Boston-made wines on tap, along with beers and cider from Harpoon Brewery, and soft drinks, the al fresco wine bar is poised to be a go-to happy hour spot. It serves snacks like cheese and charcuterie spreads, hummus, burrata, and more, and will host free live music throughout the season.
May 1-October, Wednesdays + Fridays 3:30-10 p.m., Saturdays 1-9 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Dewey Square Park Plaza, 600 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 617-933-8434, rosekennedygreenway.org, citywinery.com.
Encore Boston Harbor: South Lawn Beer Garden
Here’s something to do if you find yourself needing an escape from the windowless wonderland that is Everett’s new resort casino: Encore Boston Harbor debuts a beer garden on August 3. Taking over the resort’s sprawling South Lawn, the weekends-only outdoor bar is situated along the Mystic River and outfitted with lawn games and—as one might expect—ornate floral displays and million-dollar works of art. It serves up beer, wine, cocktails, and soft drinks, as well as bags of Cape Cod Potato Chips and complimentary corn nuts. The Encore team is working on local craft beer partnerships, but there will definitely be Harpoon IPA on tap, alongside some mass-produced offerings. (Inside the resort is an all-local beer bar, along with 14 other dining and drinking options.) The South Lawn beer garden is open weekends into the fall, including on Labor Day Monday.
August 3-fall, Saturdays + Sundays, 1 p.m. until 30 minutes after sunset, 1 Broadway, Everett, 857-770-7000, encorebostonharbor.com.
Exhibit ‘A’ Beer Garden in Framingham
MetroWest gets its first regular outdoor watering hole beginning Friday, July 19, thanks to Framingham brewery Exhibit ‘A.’ The makers of the Cat’s Meow IPA, Goody Two Shoes Kölsch, and other awesome brews recently purchased their building from their former landlord—along with property across Morton Street. That’s where Exhibit ‘A’ has built up a beer garden, complete with hand-hewn furniture made from wood reclaimed from inside their new building, and an agreement with Black Earth Compost to properly dispose of all of those eco-friendly plastic pint glasses. Into the fall, the beer garden will be open every weekend (weather-permitting), moving all food pop-ups and live music performances from the taproom en plein air. The beer garden also adds not-beer offerings to the drinks lineup, thanks to the permits pulled to operate outside. For opening weekend, find four Exhibit ‘A’ core beers, plus a limited-edition Leitmotif sour beer with kiwi, raspberry, and ginger; two varieties of Stormalong Cider; two white wines and a rosé; and even a trio of hard seltzer flavors. Check out the brewery’s Facebook events for all the details on regular food and music pop-ups—and see you in the ‘Ham.
July 19-October, Fridays + Saturdays noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-6 p.m., 81 Morton St., Framingham, 508-202-9297, exhibit-a-brewing.com.
Gentile Brewing Company at Hale Farm
The north-of-Boston City of Beverly is getting its first weekly summer beer garden, thanks to a partnership between its hometown brewing company and Historic Beverly. Every Saturday from June through mid-September, Paul and Christen Gentile are bringing the family- and dog-friendly atmosphere of their taproom to the historic Hale Farm. Enjoy full pints of their clean, fresh beers, and bring a picnic to share on the grassy lawn of the house where 17th century pastor John Hale wrote A Modest Inquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft. One dollar per pint goes back to the host, all season long. Parking in the residential neighborhood is limited—but it’s a quaint, easy, half-mile walk from downtown Beverly and its Commuter Rail station.
June 1-September 16, Saturdays 2-6 p.m., Hale Farm, 39 Hale St., Beverly, gentilebrewing.com.
Loring-Greenough House: Thursdays on the Lawn
The Jamaica Plain neighborhood converges on the lawn of the historic Loring-Greenough House every Thursday evening for family-friendly fun. There’s live music, space to play and have picnics, and there are food trucks and carts including Melt and Bartleby’s Seitan to take care of dinner. Plus: In late July, the event organizers secured proper permitting to host Hive, a JP-based drinks caterer with a silver Airstream trailer, every week (weather-permitting) through September 5. The vintage van serves up a variety of craft beer and wine options to fuel the fun.
Thursdays through September 5, 4 p.m.-dusk, 12 South St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-5992, loring-greenough.org.
Mayflower Beer Garden at The Pinehills
Just about an hour from Boston, the town of Plymouth is getting a beer garden this summer from its hometown brewery, Mayflower. Located on the Pinehills Village Green, a grassy gathering place surrounded by an up-and-coming shopping and dining district, the beer garden will host rotating food trucks, including Wahlburgers most Friday evenings; live music, lawn games, and a pop-up artisan market. Mayflower will be pouring its classic beers like Mayflower IPA, porter, and summer ale, plus the newer OttoBahn Lager, and more, including a beer garden-only release called the Pinehills Pale Ale. There will also be wine options. The Mayflower beer garden begins Thursday, May 30, and continues every Friday and Saturday, too.
Night Shift Owl’s Nest: Esplanade
This Charles River-adjacent beer garden officially takes flight again on Saturday, May 11. The “Owl’s Nest” is headed back to Fiedler Field on the Esplanade, near the Hatch Shell—right here, to be exact. But this year, Night Shift is working with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to expand the beer garden footprint (and capacity) once the season really ramps up, says Night Shift cofounder Michael Oxton. Besides a larger location, the Esplanade Owl’s Nests will feature more small-batch beers from the Everett and Lovejoy Wharf breweries, as well as more integrated tap takeovers by Night Shift Distributing partner brands. The beer garden is dog- and family-friendly, with non-alcoholic drink options, games to play, and regular food truck offerings, too. Bonus: A portion of every beer sold goes back to DCR and the Esplanade Association.
May 8-October, Wednesdays + Thursdays 4-10 p.m., Fridays + Saturdays noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-8 p.m., Fiedler Field, Charles River Esplanade, Boston, nightshiftfamily.com.
Night Shift Owl’s Nest: Herter Park, Allston
The Lower Allston Owl’s Nest officially opens for the season on Saturday, May 11, in a more accessible location. Still at Herter Park, right off of Soldiers Field Road, the beer garden is situated closer to a public parking lot this season, and is also closer to the restored amphitheater. That gives the Night Shift crew more opportunities to collaborate with local arts organizations, says cofounder Michael Oxton—stay tuned on social media for cool programming details. Otherwise, expect a range of small-batch beers from the Everett and Lovejoy Wharf breweries, as well as more integrated tap takeovers by Night Shift Distributing partner brands. The beer garden is dog- and family-friendly, with non-alcoholic drink options, games to play, and regular food truck offerings, too. Bonus: A portion of every beer sold goes back to DCR and the Esplanade Association.
May 9-October, Thursdays + Fridays 4-10 p.m., Saturdays noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-8 p.m., Herter Park, 1175 Soldiers Field Rd., Allston, nightshiftfamily.com.
90+ Cellars Rosé & Bubbly Wine Truck
Boston-based négociant 90+ Cellars is rolling into summer with a brand-new mobile wine bar. Launching in early June, it will pop up across the state at food truck festivals, retail stores, music festivals, and more events. Essentially a wine-garden-on-wheels, it’s equipped with café lights, wine barrel-tables and picnic tables, and even some green turf and a corn hole set to complete the scene. From a welcoming walk-up window, wine fans can order rosé, sparkling wines, and select whites and reds from 90+ Cellars’ robust portfolio. Many dates are free to attend (with wine purchased on-site), while a select few events will require tickets. Check out the full lineup here.
Ongoing various dates, times, and locations from early June-Fall, ninetypluscellars.com.
Notch Mobile Biergarten
Salem’s Notch Brewing is again partnering with the Trustees of Reservations to bring a European-style biergarten to the conservation group’s scenic parks, gardens, and cultural sites around Greater Boston. But this year Notch is also taking its show on the road with monthly Central Food Fests in Cambridge; monthly appearances at the Ironbound Lynn Marketplace; and a Sunday and Wednesday residency under the tent on the marsh at Woodman’s in Essex. It will also pop up at events like the Taza Chocolate Block Party on Saturday, May 4. All told, there are nearly 80 Notch Mobile Biergarten events on the calendar from late April through the fall. Each pop-up biergarten is unique, but all will feature sessionable beers by the half-liter, as well as Voll Projekt brews, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Ongoing various dates, times, and locations from late April-Fall, notchbrewing.com.
SoWa Open Market Beer Garden
The historic Power Station that hosted last year’s “beer barn” is currently under construction, as SoWa developer GTI Properties is upgrading it into a full-time events space. But the South End’s Sunday marketplace will not be without beer: Some of the region’s best breweries are taking over outdoor taps near the food truck parking lot. The rotating lineup kicks things off with Fiddlehead Brewing on May 12, along with a special Mother’s Day rosé pop-up by the Urban Grape. Proclamation Ale Company is setting up on May 19; Finback moves in on May 26; Singlecut will be in residency for the whole month of June; Four Quarters arrives on July 7; and additional summertime breweries will be announced before Schilling Beer Company returns for the annual SoWa Oktoberfest party. Expect live music, lawn games, and more family-friendly entertainment each week throughout the season, plus more than a dozen food truck options. It all happens adjacent to the vibrant vendors set up around the neighborhood’s backdrop of artist studios, galleries, boutiques, and vintage shops.
May 12-October 27, Sundays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 450-540 Harrison Ave., Boston, sowaboston.com.
Tapped Beer Truck: Braintree Beer Garden
Following a run of Saturdays in Safford Park (Quincy) through August 3, chef Avi Shemtov’s Tapped Beer Truck will return to Braintree on Saturdays this fall. In conjunction with Craft Beer Cellar Braintree, Tapped will park near the historic Sylvanus Thayer House and Gilbert Bean Barn Museum, serving up a variety of locally brewed beers each week from noon until 5 p.m. The Braintree beer garden is happening every Saturday in September and October.
Saturdays in September and October, noon-5 p.m., 786 Washington St., Braintree, Instagram.
Trillium Garden on the Greenway
With City Winery on the Greenway making its debut and the waterfront Brewer’s Alley launching across the street from the park (see above for more on both), this side of downtown has become a beer garden epicenter. And back for its third season is this summer-long, pop-up beer garden from Trillium Brewing Company, whose rapid expansion into nearby Fort Point and beyond ensures that the beer lineup will be bigger and better than ever. Beginning Thursday, May 16, look forward to new draft offerings, like summer-friendly lagers and rotating “Fresh Press” wild ale-shandies, in flavors like cucumber-pear and strawberry-watermelon. There will be a selection of hoppy ales, New England IPAs, farmhouse styles, dark beers, and sours, too, plus options from Westport Rivers Winery on tap. The family- and dog-friendly garden has beer hall-style benches and tables and repurposed barrels to stand around, and typically a food truck or two parked nearby.
May 16-October, Wednesday-Friday 2-10 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sundays noon-6 p.m., corner of High Street and Atlantic Avenue, Rose Kennedy Greenway, rosekennedygreenway.org, trilliumbrewing.com.
Wachusett Brew Yard
The Patios, a cluster of pop-up-friendly places to hang, are headed back to City Hall Plaza for the season beginning Saturday, May 4 (an original opening date earlier in the week has been pushed back because of rain in the forecast.) Popular offerings from its first year will return, including weekly visits from adoptable puppies and the Wachusett Brew Yard beer garden. But you’ll also find exciting upgrades like weekly appearances by the Boston Public Market; Sunday grilling stations; and more. From a vintage Airstream trailer, Westminster brewery Wachusett is serving up pints of its popular Blueberry wheat ale, Wally New England IPAs, and a half-dozen other beers, plus other Wachusett-owned brands like a margarita-inspired sour beer, Fifty Trees Hard Cider, and Nauti Seltzer. The Brew Yard is open every day with different food trucks and special events going on at the Patios all season long.
May 4-mid-October, Monday-Wednesday 4-9 p.m., Thursdays 4-10 p.m., Fridays + Saturdays noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-9 p.m., Faneuil Hall Overlook Area at City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Boston, cityhallplazaboston.com.
Widowmaker on the Waterfront
In conjunction with the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, Quincy-adjacent brewery Widowmaker (it’s located right over the line in Braintree) is taking over a waterfront gazebo at the Adams Inn every Wednesday evening beginning June 26. The host will be serving up burgers, hot dogs, and chicken on the grill, plus its full wine and cocktail menu, while the featured brewery will bring a rotating selection of fresh beer every week to pair with live music and the sunset.
Wednesdays beginning June 26, 4-10 p.m., the Adams Inn Gazebo, 29 Hancock St., Quincy, widowmakerbrewing.com.